Lack of Specialized Sales Training in College Business Degrees


        Have colleges and universities prepared future sales professionals with enough skills and knowledge to be successful?  Most graduates, who find themselves in sales positions, have had very little sales training.  There are some colleges that do offer sales programs.  However, many students may have received a business degree in marketing or management thinking this would be enough.   Unfortunately often times those majors did little to prepare them for the challenges that a sales job offers. The nature of sales has changed.  There are now more women in it than ever, there are more technological challenges, there are social media options, the competition is more complex due to the international impact of the Internet . . . the list of challenges goes on and on. As more and more companies are requiring that their sales people have a college degree, especially to advance into management, colleges need to reassess what courses they offer in order to better prepare their graduates.  Perhaps courses in database management, cold calling, self-marketing, networking, male/female communications and others could be integrated into the current core curriculum.  There are plenty of colleges and universities that offer marketing degrees that have some sort of emphasis on sales training.  However, the majority of marketing classes do not teach the skills a sales person needs on a day in and day out basis.  In 2009, companies spent over $100 billion on sales and training. Should universities improve their sales programs, companies may find that they eliminate a lot of the training time and expenses they incur in order to get their new hired sales people up to speed.  Sales people also might just find that with specialized training in college, they can be more successful and earn more once they get into the real world of sales.